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Light & Dark: Flick Your Way to Victory!

Light & Dark game box

Light & Dark, a quick and fun disk flicking game for 2 players from AEG!
(All photos of AEG product were taken and edited by KristaG)

Light & Dark, one of the newer 2-player games released in 2017 from AEG, is probably one of my favorite dexterity games right now. While I did enjoy Repos Productions‘ Terror in Meeple City (formerly known as Rampage) and Flick ‘Em Up from Pretzel Games, the theme, ease of set up, and length of Light & Dark are probably what makes it my favorite compared to the others. I also really like that it is a game I can take with me and play at the laundromat or at Taco Bell both while waiting for my laundry to finish! It is that compact and transportable! Although, if you are going to take it to play at these places, please keep your flicks controlled (we have yet to send a piece flying off of the table at Taco Bell and we tend to be prepared catch them ahead of time if one glides close to an edge with the possibility of falling off).

Light & Dark Set Up

An example of how to set up a game of Light & Dark. Please note that this is an example so the “play area” is really small compared to how an actual game would look!

It is hard to put into words how easy this game is to not only set up, but learn. The rulebook comes with a suggested set up (like in the picture), but there are numerous variations that could be created and used depending on the level of difficulty you want to try to create for yourself. Each player picks either Light or Dark for their set of Druids and takes 3 of the Druid disks, setting them up in front of them with their chosen alignment facing upwards. These can be set up where ever the player would like in their start area, but should be no further forward than the length of their finger (about 3” to make it fair for younger players playing with adults). The Torches are set up in the middle of the play area with 3 of the “lit” side facing up and 2 of the “unlit” side facing up. Once the game is set up, learning it is literally as fast as flicking your first piece towards the middle of the play area. If a player’s Druid hits something that isn’t already theirs (either a torch or the other player’s Druid), it gets flipped over to that player’s respective side (light or dark). However, if a disk is hit and ricochets into another disk, the one hit by ricochet is not flipped. That’s literally all there is to it for the basic game!

Power Cards

There are 8 Power Cards included for a more advanced version of Light & Dark.

For a slightly more challenging game, there is an included deck of Power Cards. These 8 cards grant players special abilities that may only be used once per game. During set up, each player receives a Power Card and keeps it face down until it is ready to be played (they may look at it anytime). Cards vary as to when they should be played, but the timing is described on the card. My favorite of the 8 is probably Heartseeker Bolt, which allows you to continue to flick your Druid until you hit something. The reason I like this one so much is that I can use it to carefully flick myself into a better position to hit something (or multiple somethings) than I had been at the beginning of my turn.

Other variants of play include adding additional sets to make it a larger game (not necessarily adding to the player count), adding additional terrain, team options, or adding more rounds to change the length of play. Personally, I love the game as it is, but I am extremely interested in adding additional sets to create a mega game! It would add to the length of the game and would mix up the strategy a bit. Currently, games take my friends and me about 5-10 minutes depending on how many rounds we play (regardless of if Power Cards are or are not used), which, again, is another reason why I enjoy it.

All of this being said what happens if something gets flicked off of the table by accident? Well, that depends on if there’s a Power Card involved or not! In the basic game, one of two things will happen. If it was a Druid that fell off of the table, it is returned to the start area of the player who controlled it before it fell off of the table (regardless of who originally owned the Druid). If the disk was a Torch, though, it is placed back near the center of the play area and, again, in the same state, it was in before it fell off of the table (for example: if it was unlit before it fell, it stays unlit). Certain Power Cards, however, such as Convert Follower or Illumination Manipulation, can be played to change where fallen disks are placed as well as what side faces up when they are returned to the play area.

The game ends when either all Druids have been converted to either the Light side or the Dark side or all Torches have become Lit or Unlit so there are 2 different win conditions which can affect a player’s strategy. As a side note, the Light Druid player is trying to light the Unlit Torches and Dark Druid player is trying to extinguish the Lit ones. Usually, my group and I play for a total of 3 rounds with the winner being the one to win 2 out of 3 games, but it really depends on what else we have in mind for the evening.

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